QuizUp Bad Linguistix

If you have a smartphone, a very popular and enjoyable app you can download is QuizUp. You can challenge and answer trivia questions on over 500 topics ranging from Star Trek to 50 Shades of Grey.

That said, the linguistics category has a number of misinformed questions or pose very debatable topics as absolute truth. Dissenting linguists beware. For example, one answer said that Proto-Nostratic was the underlying proto-language for all humans. This is problematic. One, Proto-Nostratic advocates do not say that; Proto-Nostratic is a macro-family that includes many, but not all, languages. Two, there is no single Proto-Nostratic theory and the Proto-Nostratic of the Moscow School is very different from, say, Bomhard's. Three, Proto-Nostratic is rejected by the majority of historical linguists, so it's unfair to pass this question off as accepted science.

Another example said Japanese was a language isolate. It is not. It's part of the Japonic language family. That's the conservative estimate; some linguists even include it in the Macro-Altaic family.

A third example asked about "linguistic paleontology." This is an odd name to use because it's quite rare. Much more common is paleolinguistics. That being said, paleolinguistics is usually ignored as untenable speculation, so if you were to include such a question, disclaiming certain truth would be a must.

So you're probably thinking, "Okay, so what, it's a SmartPhone app." And you're right from that angle. I suppose it just bugs me that people will become misinformed and poorly educated when they start learning from it.